Tools for learning
Raytheon, Boys & Girls Clubs donate school supplies to military youth
Back-to-school can be a chore.
Raytheon partnered with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide 8,000 children in military families, K-12 students, with backpacks, notebooks, pencils, paper and other supplies, and the chance to participate in hands-on STEM activities. The initiative, called Fill the Pack, described its mission of making sure every kid's backpack is chock-full of the right stuff.
Students were invited to stuff a new backpack with school supplies and participate in activities at 23 events across the U.S. and at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, each held at a local Boys & Girls Club.
"Being at the event felt good because I didn’t have notebooks, highlighters or pens," said eight-year-old Reyanna, a student who attended the event held at the Holmes Tuttle Boys & Girls Clubhouse in Tucson, Arizona. "I had been using my teacher’s supplies and now I don’t need to because I have my own."
STEM initiatives like the backpack event are part of a $5 million, multi-year commitment Raytheon has made to Boys & Girls Clubs of America, part of the company's $10 million pledge to support military families and veterans.
"So many of our young people are part of multiple-sibling households, where the cost of going back to school can become expensive for many of our parents and guardians," said Nikieia Johnson, director of the Tucson clubhouse. "The Raytheon Fill the Pack event helped our families reduce their overall cost tremendously, while meeting a major need of our members and families to be able to have our youth attend school and fully participate in class."
Fill the Pack events were held at these locations:
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Denver-Boettcher Branch, Aurora, Colorado
- Boys & Girls Club of Central Florida-Union Park, Orlando, Florida
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Indianapolis, Indianapolis, Indiana
- Boys & Girls Club of Greater Dallas, Richardson, Texas
- Lawrence Boys & Girls Club, Lawrence, Massachusetts
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Collin County, McKinney, Texas
- Boys & Girls Club of North Alabama, Huntsville, Alabama
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Texas, Killeen, Texas
- Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas
- Eglin Air Force Base Youth Center, Florida
- Kirtland AFB Youth Programs, New Mexico
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Tucson, Tucson, Arizona
- Hale Pono Ewa Beach Clubhouse, Ewa Beach, Hawaii
- Hill AFB Youth Programs, Utah
- Boys & Girls Club Pikes Peak Region-Tutt Club, Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Joint Base Andrews Youth Center, Maryland
- Boys & Girls Clubs of South County, Chula Vista, California
- Boys & Girls Club of San Diego-Clairemont, San Diego, California
- Harford County Boys & Girls Clubs, Aberdeen, Maryland
- Fort Meade Youth Center, Maryland
- Langley AFB Youth Center, Virginia
- Fort Gordon Youth Center, Georgia
- Los Angeles AFB Youth Center, San Pedro, California
- Ramstein AFB Youth Center, Germany
Raytheon and Boys & Girls Clubs are also building a network of STEM Centers of Innovation, facilities meant to spark student interest in science, technology, engineering and math, on or near U.S. military installations. The Centers are staffed with company volunteers, who mentor students to develop skills and critical thinking through real-world STEM applications.